This Monday, the President of the Republic congratulated the three Portuguese students from the Colégio Luso-Francês, who won last Saturday the European Competition for Young Scientists, with a project that proposes regenerating bone tissue through the use of spider webs.
In a note published this Monday on the official website of the Presidency, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa congratulates “the young students Afonso Nunes, Inês Cerqueira and Mário Onofre, who obtained first place in the EU Competition for Young Scientists (UCYS), organized by the European Commission, with the SPIDER-BACH2 project.”
The Portuguese head of state highlights that 85 projects were submitted to the competition, with more than 130 young people, between 14 and 20 years old, from 36 countries and that SPIDER-BACH2 “is an innovative project in the area of bioengineering, which allows bone tissue to be regenerated through the use of spider web silktherefore having practical applications in the mitigation of osteoporosis”, which affects a large percentage of the population.
The President of the Republic highlights once again the importance of Science and the role of all scientists in our society and highlights how much the world needs scientists to question and implement their ideas through innovative projects,” the note states.
According to a note released on Saturday by the Youth Foundation, which announces that the prize “arrives in Portugal”, in addition to the 7,500 euros for the first prize, “The students were also honored with the XFEL Special Award“, which “guarantees access to a week-long experience at the European XFEL – European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility, in Hamburg.”
The group was coordinated by Professor Rita Rocha and the young people were chosen to represent Portugal in Brussels “with victory in the National Competition for Young Scientists 2023, organized by the Youth Foundation, with an innovative project in the field of engineering ( bioengineering).
The Spider-Bach2”is based on the proposal of simultaneous production of recombinant spider web silk with a bioactive peptide that has been shown to have regenerative properties of bone tissue.“, highlighted the entity.
According to the Foundation, “The final product may have applications to mitigate osteoporosis.by allowing the ‘in vitro’ production of osteoblasts, cells responsible for the organic synthesis of bone matter.”
The Youth Foundation also submitted the Syrenity project to the competition, “a study that aims to produce a cream rich in collagen – a protein with structural and moisturizing properties – from by-products resulting from the fishing industry, such as fish scales and fins, presented by Joana Monteiro, João Henriques and Margarida Leite, students of Colégio Valsassina, coordinated by Professor João Gomes.”
The Foundation recalled that the Portuguese delegations sent to EUCYS “have frequently obtained distinctions”, recalling that “in the 2022 edition, in Leiden, Madeiran students Joaquim Sousa Dória and José Tiago Fernandes Vieira won in the bioeconomy category, and in 2021 , the The special prize of the Joint Research Center was won by Porto students Klára Varga, Sara Couto and João Carvalho.”
Since 1992, the Youth Foundation has organized the National Young Scientists Competition, aimed at young people between 15 and 20 years old, secondary and higher education students (in the first year) and young people (individually or in groups, up to 3 elements) . ) with research projects, developed in the school/university context.